(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)
FOCUS: Tracking Satan’s plans and purpose
KEY SCRIPTURES: Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 2:26-28; 22:16
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
“You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain [also translated ‘the north’].
“I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
“But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit.”
“To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ [Psalm 2:9] — just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star [not capitalized, another name for Satan].
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star [capitalized; different from the morning star spoken of by Isaiah].
PROPHECY CONNECTIONS IN MATTHEW:
Jesus warned His followers to be alert for deceivers — morning stars — who claim to be the Christ — “the bright Morning Star.”
Matthew 24:4-5, 15-27 — “Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many people.…
” ‘So when you see standing in the holy place [“on a wing of the temple” (Daniel 9:27)] the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…. At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There He is!” DO NOT BELIEVE IT. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
“… For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
PROPHECY CONNECTION IN DANIEL:
According to prophecy, A DECEIVER will set up an “abomination” that will desecrate “the holy place” — God’s holy temple.
Daniel 9:27 — “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ [one seven year period of time]. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering [commanded by God to be made in the temple]. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
PROPHECY CONNECTION IN REVELATION:
In cryptic visions that revealed the future, the prophet John saw A DECEIVER whom he called ‘a beast coming out of the sea,” who was given authority to blaspheme God and make war on His saints. He also saw a second beast “coming out of the earth” who acted as the first beast’s false prophet.
Revelation 13:1-18 — “The dragon [Satan] stood on the shore of the sea.
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.… The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority…. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast….
“The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
“He who has an ear, let him hear.
If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed.
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
“Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast … And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.
“He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
“This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”
HOW THE STORY ENDS: Revelation 19:19-20 gives a description of the showdown between Satan — who gives his authority and power to the beast — and the Most High God, whose authority and power are given to “the rider on the white horse” — Jesus Christ!
“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the white horse and His army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet, who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With those signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.“